Because I’m involved in the business of HVAC with Ricotta Heating & Air, I am sometimes surprised by the questions I’m asked by homeowners. For example, a friend of mine was astounded the other day to consider that her forced air heater was involved with her air conditioning system.
She was genuinely shocked when I told her that forced-air systems include some components that service both heat and cooling; such as an air handler, ductwork, thermostat, registers, air filters, and of course, the thermostat. These parts of your system have been working through the spring and summer, forcing cooled air throughout every room in your home or office. And they will be put to use again in the fall/winter, as you begin to use your furnace to heat. She had no idea!
So here’s a bit more information from the experts at Ricotta Heating & Air that I shared with her that I thought you might also appreciate knowing:
Forced-air systems include a means of heating the air, such as gas-fueled burners or electric-resistance heating elements, a heat exchanger, and flues. Or, cooling the air, utilizing your air conditioning unit.
The basic components of a forced-air system include:
- An air handler, which may be either a stand-alone blower cabinet used with a heat pump or a forced-air furnace that includes a blower
- Gas-fueled burners or electric-resistance heating elements and an air conditioning unit
- Ductwork for delivering room air to the heater
- Ductwork for sending air back to rooms
Forced-air systems include a few other parts including filters to clean the air, registers to direct and control the flow of air to rooms and, in the case of heaters that utilize combustion for heat, a flue for venting combustion gasses outdoors.
Your thermostat tells the system what temperature you prefer. It is then up to the air handler to draw room air from a “cold air return” through ductwork into the furnace’s heat exchanger, a metal chamber around which air flows. The burners, electric heating elements or heat pump responds by turning on. The blower then forces the warmed (or cooled) air through a network of ductwork back to the rooms. And the cycle continues until the set comfort level is reached and the thermostat turns the system off.
That’s a lot of moving parts to keep functioning in the heat –and through the cold. Which is why it is comforting to know Ricotta Heating & Air can help you keep things running smoothly.
-Lew of the Ricotta blogging team